Main sources: Film on Paper, Terry-posters, Chisholm-Larsson Gallery, Emovieposter, Wrong Side of the Art
It’s that time again! The content of my year-specific posts deem that they must come after I’ve watched everything planned for any given year. But two of the traditional Top Ten By Year posts can go up any time: Poster Highlights, and the Poll. I’ve taken to putting up the Poster Highlights when I’m a fourth of the way done with my watchlist, while the Poll goes into effect at the halfway mark. And guess what? I’m 25% done with 1982!
It is so very hard to track down the full range of posters from any given year. There are so many different sites, none of them all-encompassing. Then there’s tracking down the artists. Some of these sites have done a great job doing what they can and crediting artists when possible. Every credit given to an artist in this post comes from having seen the name attributed from one of the above sites. About half of these don’t have credited artists (at least that I was able to find).
So these are my favorite posters for 1982 films. I kept it limited to posters made from the time of release. In the case of the Eastern European posters, many of these were made in the mid -to-late 80’s, and I obviously kept them. But in general I stay away from recently made posters for older films, at least for these posts, because I like to concentrate on poster art from the era itself, seeing how films were being advertised in their day, etc.
So many stand-out posters that aren’t represented, because this is simply a collection of my favorites.
(Disclaimer: the accents are missing from credited names, as it wasn’t possible to copy and paste names into the captions)
I’ll go through these based on the groupings I came up with. The first is posters with the COLORS OF THE RAINBOW, a trend that largely crops up when it comes to sci-fi/fantasy fare.
Speaking of Poltergeist, the now-iconic image of Heather O’Rourke in front of the TV set was very smartly the at its marketing center.
US poster for Poltergeist. Designer unknown
Turkish poster for Poltergeist. Artist unknown
PURPLES AND PINKS AND GENRE, OH MY!
I absolutely love the purple/pink color schemes I found on so many posters for 1982 films. This seems to be a trend in movie posters of the 1980’s. The purple/pink color scheme is applied across many genres, particularly horror.
US poster for Cat People. Artist unknown
US poster for Cat People. Artist unknown
Here are a trio of posters from the film Android. Two of them incorporate the purple/pink scheme. The other one is just rad.
This poster for The Empire Strikes Backwas made specifically for the 1982 re-release so I’m counting it:
Last but not least, this 48 Hrs. poster segues nicely into my next grouping:
THE HYPER-DETAILED COMIC-INSPIRED ILLUSTRATION
This would phase out later in the 1980’s, replaced by the photogenic faces populating the movie star resurgence, but I suspect that the combination of high-fantasy, sci-fi, chaotic comedies, and teen flicks (not to mention the muscle-bound hero with a scantily clad woman at his side trope) from the era kept this going a bit longer.
Next up are posters that incorporate photography or stills in some way, either on their own or with other illustrative poster design techniques.
NUDIES, NUDIES, NUDIES. NOTHIN’ BUT NUDIES
Turns out that posters for nudies are some of the greatest things in existence.
These next two posters were done by Tom Tierney. He’s the man credited with making the paper doll famous! Later in life it seems that he made a good amount of posters for X-rated fare. His work makes up some of my favorite posters ever. The Wanda Whips Wall Street poster is my other favorite in this post, and it’s something I’m determined to own and have on my wall as a proper adult.
As is well known, the Czech and the Polish have a near monopoly on incredible, bizarre, head-turning poster art. Here are some of my favorites.
Originally posted on Criterion Cast on December 30th, 2011
There are a multitude of ways in which we as humans deal with the world and the various tragedies that can surround us. There are countless instances in which cultures or societies are taken over by ensuing horrors of all kinds. One way of coping is using art, skill and creativity to depict what one sees with complexity, symbolism and catharsis. Not many films deal with how humans have always used art to cope and reconcile what we experience and see. The Mill and the Cross uses a recent medium to show how an older medium lends itself to creative expression that gives desperately needed meaning to the inconsolable atrocities that can occur.
The Mill and the Cross does this in a most unconventional way that at times feels like a filmed piece of performance art, if not for the carefully mapped out visuals on display. I know very little about Polish director Lech Majewski, but it is apparent that he has considerable experience working in both the theater and with installation pieces.
It is 16th century Flanders where Spain occupies and religious persecution reigns. The film renders art becoming, in the form of Pieter Bruegel’s epic painting “The Way to Cavalry”. The piece is filled to the brim with activity and townsfolk with 500 figures occupying the spatial landscape. Among the acts within the painting there is a representation of Christ’s procession. In the film, we witness the daily subdued goings-on of the people who will be represented in the painting. Among the mundane, atrocities committed by the Spaniards are a regular occurrence and are shown with the same hushed quotidian scrutiny. Bruegel, as played by Rutger Hauer, watches and speaks, describing his painting as we see its various elements come together. Michael York plays his patron and Charlotte Rampling plays Bruegel’s mother and his model for the Virgin Mary.
There are several nameless characters that go about their business, unknowingly contributing their collective experience to the canvas as Bruegel sees it. The film is almost entirely without dialogue, with visuals being the communicative language. This aligns the film with Bruegel’s painting which also, it goes without saying, communicates through its vision. Using different technologies such as green screen and matte backgrounds, The Mill and the Cross transfers how Bruegel saw everything around him and makes it the actual physical text of the film; almost like a spin-off of the painting. But The Mill and the Cross ponders the act of a representation of a representation. Film, by nature, represents but arguably does not present. Using the power of filmic representation, Majewski shows a progressive literalization of Bruegel’s eventual representation of Flanders in “The Way to Cavalry”.
The point of depicting these characters, nameless and otherwise, is not to get inside their heads. It is to show how environment of people, landscape, circumstance and persecution get filtered by inspiration into timeless expression and catharsis.
The Mill and the Cross is filled with stunning contemplative visuals. As a whole, it is unlike anything else and there is plenty to admire and relish. I preferred the segments without the minimal dialogue. What little there was felt didactic and clunky. The film also felt too forcibly stretched to feature-length. Its a rewarding and beautiful film, but it also strains to keep itself afloat for the entire running time.
The film gets you thinking about how art comes to be with the where, the what and the why. It exists in artistic limbo, inviting us to explore motivations and the surface of historical context. Awkward chunks of execution aside, this is for the most part a bewitching rumination.